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FEAR     3'?m2f Fear of the Lord

(both characters stroll on wearing royal robes and modest
crowns, carrying open Bibles)

QUEEN -- Read on, my daughter.

PRINCESS -- Verse nine: "Instruct a wise man and he will be
wiser still; teach a righteous man and he will add to his
learning." Verse ten "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of
wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding."

QUEEN -- Read on, my daughter.

PRINCESS -- (stops) I have a question, Mother.

QUEEN -- Yes?

PRINCESS -- Is this a misprint?

QUEEN -- A misprint? (examines own Bible, then Princess' Bible)
No, I don't see a misprint. Why?

PRINCESS -- Elsewhere in the Bible, Jesus instructs us to refer
to the Lord as our father.

QUEEN -- Yes. That's what it says.

PRINCESS -- But here in the Proverbs, King Solomon tells us to
fear him.

QUEEN -- Yes. That's right.

PRINCESS -- Well, that doesn't seem right.

QUEEN -- Why not?

PRINCESS -- I don't fear my father. We're Christians, Mother. We
have nothing to fear from our father in Heaven.

QUEEN -- Oh, I see your problem. You misunderstand what FEAR
means.

PRINCESS -- I do?

QUEEN -- Apparently. But you, of all people should know what
King Solomon means when he tells us to fear the Lord.

PRINCESS -- I should?

QUEEN -- Yes.

PRINCESS -- But... I... I don't think Christians should fear
anything.

QUEEN -- Are you aware that your king, could order you to be 
killed, just like that. (snaps fingers)

PRINCESS -- Mother! Father would never do that! He loves me!

QUEEN -- Yes. He does. He loves you dearly because he is your
father. But he's also your king. He literally has the power of 
life and death over everyone in his kingdom.

PRINCESS -- Well, yes, I suppose he does. But he would never....
Father would never do that... Would he, Mother?

QUEEN -- I can't think of a circumstance where he would. But
that doesn't diminish his power to do it. Do you remember our
reading of the Book of Esther?

PRINCESS -- Yes.

QUEEN -- At the climax of her story, Queen Esther enters the
throne room uninvited.

PRINCESS -- Oh. Oh. Yes. Of course. Queen Esther knew that the 
king was deeply in love with her, but she also knew that there 
was a chance that by entering the throne room uninvited, the 
King might have put her to death.

QUEEN -- Exactly. She feared the king, even though she knew he 
loved her.

PRINCESS -- But God has promised us eternal life if we trust
Him. He has never broken a promise to his people. Never.

QUEEN -- But that doesn't diminish his power of life and death
over you.

PRINCESS -- Oh. I see, Mother. Fear of the Lord is like fear of
the King.

QUEEN -- Yes.

PRINCESS -- FEAR is knowing that the king has the power of life
and death over us.

QUEEN -- Yes.

PRINCESS -- But if I fear the king, I should really fear the 
Lord, because he is not only my king, but my creator and 
sustainer. If he decides not to sustain me, I'm gone!

QUEEN -- Yes. Now you know what fear is.

PRINCESS -- But, fortunately, the Bible also says that "perfect 
love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment."

QUEEN -- Now you know the difference between fear and dread, my 
daughter.

PRINCESS -- I feel sorry for those without the King's perfect
love, don't you, Mother?

QUEEN -- I wish that everyone was loved by the King as much as
we were. Read on, my daughter. (exits)

PRINCESS -- (follows) Verse 11: "For through wisdom your days
will be many, and years will be added to your life...."
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